We are a lean and mean team—two principals supported by a carefully cultivated group of associates, who are engaged for specific projects and form the nucleus of the D. R. Dunlop & Associates, Inc. team—qualified professionals in event planning and management, graphic design and communications, media and public relations, international practice and protocol, and logistics services.
We are well-versed in international business and social etiquette and accomplished at dealing with international business ethics and protocol, experience and precedence, and with Canadian custom and practice.
We anticipate individual and collective expectations, cultural differences, and conflicting private agendas and are able to cope quickly and effectively with unexpected developments.
Our commitment to excellence and to the small details that make a difference, can be the key to your meeting, official visit and special event success.
D. R. Dunlop & Associates, Inc. was founded, in 1987, on the specialized expertise of David Dunlop, one of the firm's two principals, to capitalize on his extensive experience managing the Visits and Conferences Service at Canada's Department of Global Affairs*. As Deputy Chief of Protocol from 1977 to 1987, Mr. Dunlop planned, managed and coordinated countless state and official visits to Canada, conducted Northern Tours for foreign heads of mission and created and ran the Official Visits Service at EXPO 86, in Vancouver.
In the 29 years since its establishment, the company has developed an associate base that enables it to provide full meeting, conference, trade show, special event and visits management services to meet a wide range of client requirements, from small meetings and functions to multifaceted conferences, high-profile special events and complex visits programs.
Over the years we have handled, or been involved in, everything from small consultation meetings to high-profile international conferences, large trade shows and several G7 and G8 Summits.
*In 1987, the Department of External Affairs and International Trade, more recently the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Today, we are a multi-generation team of seasoned event professionals—a formidable combination of hard won experience from many trenches and Millennial/GenX savvy for a youthful but reasoned approach.
David Dunlop has been planning and managing meetings and conferences, in one form or another, for over 40 years, 29 of them as President of D. R. Dunlop & Associates, Inc., which he founded in 1987.
His interest in meeting and event planning was sparked at Montreal's Expo 67 where, as a Canada Pavilion host, he co-chaired the Canada Day event for Pavilion hosts and hostesses. The following summer while working as a summer student at the National Film Board, he spent several weeks as camera caddy for the photographer of the Shah of Iran during the Shah's 1967 summer visit to Canada.
In 1973, he joined the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister. Two years later he became Special Assistant to the Commissioner General for the Canadian Habitat Secretariat and traveled world-wide for preparatory meetings for the 1976 United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, in Vancouver. During this time he organized meetings in Australia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Nairobi, at the United Nations in New York and the OECD in Paris.
Keeping multiple meetings on the rails had now become a serious skill set. In 1977, he accepted the post of Deputy Chief of Protocol (Visits and Conferences Service) at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade where he was responsible for official visits to Canada of heads of state and government, foreign ministers and other ministerial-level visitors, and for policy and logistics for official visits to Canada, until 1987,
In 1987 he left the public service to establish D. R. Dunlop and Associates, Inc., Event Planning and Management.
Since then he has coordinated policy and logistics for over 300 meetings and conferences, in both the public and the private sectors, from 10 to several thousand participants, in all provinces and territories and in five countries.
Susan is the force behind RedTable Design and defacto communications director for all DRDA event projects requiring outsourced communications tools and materials. She brings to the table over 35 years of experience as as a writer, editor and graphic designer—29 of them as communications coordinator for D. R. Dunlop & Associates, Inc. client projects.
Susan specializes in the production of communications tools and materials for meetings, conferences and special events. Her comprehensive and wide-ranging skills address all aspects of a communications project from concept development, through writing, editing, translation, graphic design, original art, image editing, page layout, pre-press, multimedia, production coordination, and project management for print and web publishing.
Three years ago she decided to learn how to design and build websites so we could keep up with the Joneses, or at least with Google. To her dismay she now dreams in code.
At the beginning of a new client assignment we meet with key stakeholders to:
We look at the precedence and protocol of previous meetings and events, and the practices of the client organization to inform current program, logistics and protocol development.
Then we draft a Working Program, a Critical Path and a Budget for further discussion with stakeholders and approval to implement.
As logistic requirements are identified and confirmed, we initiate and follow-up on arrangements.
During the planning phase through to the orchestration of the actual event, we communicate frequently with the client lead, and regularly with steering group members and key stakeholders who may be directly involved in the planning and logistics process. We also keep in close touch with service providers and team members to confirm arrangements, monitor progress and track delegated follow-through.
Immediately before and during the event we are on site supervising and troubleshooting arrangements and scenarios.
We stage-manage the final production so that everyone involved is comfortable with their respective roles. Participants, guests, organizers, and service providers all know what is expected of them, what to expect and how and when to do what.
From the outset, we work to ensure that program objectives and expectations are clearly defined and understood, and that scenarios are well-conceived and supported— crucial if events are to unfold as planned, if changing circumstances are to be seamlessly accommodated, and the unexpected quickly addressed and handled in a professional and orderly fashion.
And throughout the assignment, we work to keep expectations realistic, programs effective and expenses within budget.